Old Jewish Quarter

Trip Start Aug 29, 2010
Trip End Oct 04, 2010

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Flag of Czech Republic  , Bohemia,
Monday, September 13, 2010

Today, we walked 24,338 steps, and at about two feet per step, that is around 10 miles! Let's just say we were tired at the end of the day. We started the morning off by crossing the river and climbing the 262 steps to see the giant metronome. It was a pretty tough climb that made us realize how out of shape we were :/ but the view from the top was rather nice. We could see most the city of Prague, unfortunately it was under a cloud of fog and our pictures turned out pretty grey.
Following this, we walked back down and towards the Old Jewish Quarter. We bought tickets to see four of the six synagogues remaining in the city, the Jewish cemetery and the Holocaust Memorial. We first saw the museum in the Spanish Synagogue, which was beautifully built and decorated in the Moorish style.
Next we saw the memorial for the over 90,000 Czech Jews that perished in the second world war, which actually started in 1938 for them when the country was taken by Germany. On the walls of three of the four rooms were the towns, names and dates of birth/death of those who were murdered in the war. To our surprise, everything was handwritten, which made it even more impressive. The last room in that memorial held hundreds of pictures, pictures drawn by the over 10,000 children in the concentration camp, Terezin, outside of Prague. This was a form of art therapy for those dark days in the camp. The most striking and emotional part was knowing that many of these paintings are the only record of the existence of those children since the Nazis were very systematic in wiping out all documentation of life. It was rather moving. Connected to this memorial was the centuries old cemetery that contained probably over 100,000 bodies in one city block. Seemed like it was the popular place to die back then.
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MR on

You know, I just read that the Prague castle was the inspiration and the setting for Kafka's Castle. Cool! Now I really want to see it!
BTW, why do the stones in the cemetery look like they are all broken?

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